Sidewalk Labs, a Google-affiliated company, partnered with Waterfront Toronto to develop a proposal for a 12-acre site referred to as “Quayside.” Sidewalk Labs’ proposal included technological innovations that would track citizens passing through the neighbourhood, but questions were raised about how this data would be governed.
Sidewalk Labs initially proposed that it would establish an independent entity that would manage data governance. However, even Sidewalk Labs’ strongest supporters, including the Toronto Region Board of Trade, felt that Sidewalk Labs, as a private company, did not have the capacity or mandate to do this.
The Board subsequently produced this study to explore what entity would be best suited to govern data gathered from public spaces. It ultimately decided that the Toronto Public Library (TPL) would be the best fit, having the necessary resources, expertise and public trust.
In addition to championing TPL as a data steward, this report provides additional recommendations related to the collection and use of data.